Malaysian cops warn of new parcel scam

Malaysian cops warn of new parcel scam
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Gullible Malaysians are still falling prey to "parcel scams" despite repeated warnings from the authorities.

Police have now warned of a new "parcel scam" in which scammers may spend months building an online relationship with victims before asking for money.

Federal Police Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) deputy director (Cyber and Multimedia Investigation) Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din said there was a case where a victim was scammed of RM847,000 (S$269,000).

SAC Mohd Kamaruddin said that the victim met the suspect online.

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"The suspect promised to send a parcel loaded with money, jewellery, an iphone, computers and clothing," he said, adding that the victim received calls from a customs officer demanding tax and insurance fee for the parcel.

"The victim transferred the money into several accounts," SAC Kamaruddin said.

He said the victim then went to the nearest police station to lodge a police report after realising it was a scam.

It was reported last year that a syndicate was using a new "parcel scam" to con unsuspecting Malaysians, the CCID said.

In the Royal Malaysian Police Facebook cyber crime alert, members of the public were warned against a new type of scam.

"If you receive a personalised message to contact 0065665197**** (or similar numbers) you are advised to not contact that number. If you do, it will be answered by an answering machine that deals with parcel services.

Read also: Parcel phone scam has evolved; over $4 million lost to scammers since March

"Early investigations showed that the answering machine would connect a caller to an operator who would inform you that a package is currently being held at the courier office due to Customs tax and service charges. The caller would then be asked to make a payment via money transfer overseas.

"We believe this is the newest tactic of scammers who operate overseas," the department posted on social media.

Read also: Police arrest man over DHL parcel scam

The syndicate usually obtained details of the public including their names, phone number and IC number via the Internet.

It was reported previously that a study commissioned earlier this year by Telenor Group, a Norwegian multinational telecommunications company with operations in Scandinavia, Europe and Asia, found that Malaysia was the country most vulnerable to Internet scams.

The Internet scam study was aimed at gaining better understanding of common online rackets by polling 400 users, aged between 18 and 65, in four countries - Malaysia, India, Singapore and Thailand.

Malaysia topped the list with 46 per cent of respondents saying that they had been victims of Internet scams.

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